When news happens, text KENEWS and your photos and videos to 80360. Or contact us by email or phone.
Kendal Auction Mart takes on teenage girls
THE wind of change has begun to blow through the male dominated world of live-stock auctions.
In a break with tradition, Kendal Auction Mart has set on its first female apprentices – teenagers Katie Onions and Harriet Cook.
The 16-year-olds, both from farming backgrounds, will be part of a team of up to 20 staff handling sheep, cattle and pigs during busy sale days.
Katie’s family farm is near Burton-in-Kendal and Harriet’s is at Witherslack. They are being supervised by another new member of the team, mart foreman Ronnie Keith.
Katie, who spent her summer holiday with the team, said: “I just love working with stock and I want to learn all the different jobs involved. So far we’ve have been meeting the farmers, helping to un-load and load stock and been washing out after the sale.”
Harriett said: “It is unusual for an apprenticeship like this to come up and you wouldn’t normally have two girls in the post. My brother is involved with our farm which means I can come here.”
The pair are enrolled on the Intermediate Apprenticeship in live-stock scheme, which allows them to earn a living by working full-time with North West Auctions and receive training at the same time in conjunction with Myerscough College, near Preston.
The apprenticeship runs for between 12-18 months and covers a range of livestock skills and related practices.
Adam Day, managing director of North West Auctions, said: “Previous experience has shown that investing in young people has brought huge benefits to the business. Gary Capstick, our senior auctioneer, started here on a Youth Training Scheme in the 80s, and Kevin Kendal, who joined us at 16, now runs one of the area’s leading auction houses.
“These two new posts show that by ‘growing our own’ we are helping to ensure our future.”